Journey through the Book of Genesis with me. The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!
** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier!
Question 1: How in the world did Abram’s small army of 318 men defeat a coalition of four kings (and armies) who had held on to power for over a decade and very possibly had a bogger army?
Question 2: How did Melchizedek earn/receive the title “Priest of God Most High”? What’s his back story?
Question 3: Is Salem the same place as Jerusalem? (verse 18)
Question 4: What was the significance of Abram giving him a tenth? Why not a third, or half, or one percent?
Question 5: Did Melchizedek remain a high priest for Abram all his days?
WHAT I LEARNED
Insight 1: The post-flood world has become so greatly evil that nations (Chedorlaomer, king of Elam) now subjugate other nations, which is contrary to the original plan. God originally intended for man to “Be fruitful and multiply… (to) fill the earth and govern it… (to) reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:27-28). But due to sin, man is now ruling over other men with great evil intent.
Insight 2: The four kings (Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim– verse 1) were no small army, possibly numbering in the thousands. They were powerful enough to rule over five nations for 5 years, and had enough military might in battle to reassert their control over the five nations that tried to rebel. Yet, Abram was able to pursue, defeat, and plunder them with only a small army of 318 men born and trained in his house (verse 14). This victory hints of God’s promise in Genesis 12:2-3, in that, no matter what Abram touches, God is favorably with him (and fights for him).
Insight 3: Melchizedek’s friendly act of bringing out “bread and wine” to meet Abram after battle (verse 18) brings to mind pictures of the Lord’s supper (Luke 22:14-20). Interestingly, the Bible (Hebrews 5:5 and Hebrews 6:20-7:17) compares Melchizedek to Christ (a “type” of Christ). The Lord’s Supper indicates fellowship. To partake of communion regularly is a comforting reminder that I am a friend of God through Christ, just as Melchizedek was a priest/comforter to Abram (who was a friend of God - (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).
Insight 4: Abram has become a “grown up” in his faith in God at this stage. Based on his response to the king of Sodom in verse 21-24, he now knows that God is his provider for ALL things, hence he needs no gifts from the plunder of the four Mesopotamian overlords in verse 16.
Insight 5: Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek deepens Abram’s faith and understanding of who God is. Not only do they try to “out-bless” one another, but soon after their “meet-up”, Abram begins to use Melchizedek’s own terminology to describe God. In verse 19-20, Melchizedek blesses Abram by saying, ““Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;”. Shortly thereafter, when Abram interacts with the king of Sodom in verse 22, he uses Melchizedek’s exact words to refer to God, “But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth,”
Insight 6: It appears Lot still hasn’t matured in his faith nor has he learned that his proximity to Abram is what has resulted in his blessings and protection. In Sodom (after separating from Abram), he is taken captive and looted by the 4 kings of Mesopotamia. When Abram rescues him (and his property), Lot simply returns to Sodom (where he will suffer another tragic loss on the day God destroys both cities with fire and brimstone – Genesis 20).
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.